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By David Delony
Vultr.com is a web hosting company, with a team of over 50 people based in Matawan, New Jersey. The company has 15 datacenters around the world, including several U.S. cities, Amsterdam, Singapore, Tokyo, Paris, Frankfurt and Sydney.
Vultr offers customers what it calls a global cloud, with Intel-based machines. The company specializes in fast cloud infrastructure.
The company has three major services: Vultr Cloud Compute or VC2, block storage, and dedicated instances. VC2 is geared for intense computing tasks, block storage is for, well, storage, and the dedicated instance offers the advantages of both a private cloud and a managed server.
One thing that Vultur offers that a lot of other hosting companies don't is root access. This means that users can make major changes to the operating system, as well as being able to edit the main configuration files without having to use files like Apache's .htaccess.
Customers can choose from several major Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. Windows and FreeBSD are also available. Customers can upload their own bootable .iso files. This means that customers have maximum flexibility with software. They can use a basic LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), or mix things up with FreeBSD server using NGINX for the web server, PostgreSQL for the database and Python for hosting the actual application.
For those who want more control than a shared system offers, the dedicated instances allow users to rent a percentage of a server or a whole machine. This solution is ideal for applications that require high performance or high privacy, as the system isn't shared. The dedicated cloud is only available at Vultr's New Jersey and Japan datacenters.
Customers manage their instances through an attractive web-based control panel. Users can start servers, reboot them, create new images and reinstall the operating system. This makes it very easy to perform out-of-band management, or things that are impossible to do without console access, like rebooting a system, without being logged off, as can happen with SSH. The control panel also gives users access to support, billing, affiliates and account status. They can see their CPU usage, bandwidth usage and their charges at a glance.
The control panel is also available as a mobile app, so customers can check their servers on the go. It's also useful for on-call engineers since they can access and diagnose problems with servers remotely, even when they might not be near a computer. The control panel offers console access. This lets admins use the command-line to perform out-of-band tasks while staying logged in.
Vultr also has a number of popular applications that can be installed with one click, such as Drupal, Docker, and WordPress. This saves users a lot of time installing these applications from scratch.
All of Vultr's instances run on SSDs, which gives a substantial speed boost over conventional hard drives. This translates into faster page load times. The SSDs are hosted on highly available clusters. Vultr hosts three copies of block storage drives for redundancy in case something happens to a drive.
As mentioned earlier, Vultur has data centers located across several continents, include North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Vultr can serve web pages using anycast addressing. This means that if a customer deploys servers in Vultr's datacenters in different locations, users will get the page that's geographically closest to them. This furthers the company's belief in speed, as pages that a closer to the user tend to load faster.
Vultr also allows for regional private networks for one account. A customer might have a front-end web proxy, several compute servers and block storage all connected together. Logically, they'll look like their own network even though their hosted with a remote company. Each server can have multiple IPv4 addresses, with the option for IPv6 support.
Vultr also features BGP announcement of a customer's IP address space, which means that a customer can use their own IP addresses with Vultr.
Customers can also use Vultr's API to automatically spin up instances and query their status. All of the operations are performed over standard HTTP. This makes Vultr a good choice for people developing web applications. Since the API uses HTTP and JSON, developers can use it with almost any scripting language, since many of them already contain libraries to handle both of these methods.
A customer's servers spread out across datacenters will fail over in case one goes down for extra reliability using the same IP address.
Vultr doesn't have long-term contracts, which gives customers more flexibility. Vultr can bill users either by the month or by the hour. Users can pay by popular credit and debit cards.
The company claims a 100% host node and network uptime in its SLA. Vultr offers uptime credits in case the company does suffer an outage, up to 672 hours in cases of outages over seven hours.
Technical support is handled by creating tickets through the dashboard. Vultr also has an extensive documentation section on its websites that covers a range of common administrative tasks. It should suit everyone from beginners to experienced Unix/Linux wizards. Topics include installing and configuring Linux, web servers, and other popular applications.
Vultr is a hosting company specializing in cloud computing, and more importantly, fast cloud computing. It's a good choice for those who want a customizable experience. With multiple datacenters and SSD, storage, it's a reliable option for nearly any application.
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